Join the joyful doubters

Thoughts on Luke 24:35-48

It’s the evening of first day of the week, the disciples are still together, wondering about the reports of an empty tomb and sightings of you, when suddenly you appear in their midst. Startled and frightened is an understatement. At first they thought you were a ghost, like they were experiencing a Folie à deux. You gave them more credit than they deserved. You seemed surprised that they were troubled and doubting. All along you had been telling them the truth about what would unfold to accomplish your mission: suffering, dying, rising on the third day; you had given them enough information so that they might have expected your resurrection. Their doubts proved their disbelief. Patiently, you give them hands on evidence proving that all you had told them about yourself and your plans for humankind were true.

The scripture says “they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered.” Joy and doubt were vying for prominence in their hearts. You, alive, talking to them, showing them your wounds – this was too good to be true. Yet here you were, asking for something to eat.

And now you give them a new identity, a new purpose, “You are witnesses of these things.” A witness, one who reports what they have seen or experienced.

Lord, I count myself one of these joyful doubters. Like them, I’ve heard you tell me the truth about who you are and who I am, what power is yours and how you share it with me, what purpose is yours and how you need me to help bring it about. This is reality and your intention for me. You patiently allow the truth to sink into my thick head, giving me proof after proof of your power and your love. Like them, joy and doubt compete for my heart. Help me to align myself with joy and belief. Thank you and amen.

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The Lord lives

When Jesus died, hope died; it was buried along with him in Joseph’s tomb. Sorrow, indignation and doubt blinded the two friends as they walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus. The death shroud that had so recently held Jesus still covered their eyes. Jesus was alive with them but they were consumed with their own story and so intent on talking about Jesus they missed an opportunity to talk with him.

It was in the breaking of the bread that life returned to their sorrowing eyes and grieving hearts. At last they recognized Jesus. He was with them even as they walked in the blindness of doubt.

  • In what areas of your life has hope died?
  • Who is your friend that shares your sorrow?
  • Jesus is walking with you right now, what keeps you from recognizing him?

Let us learn from the error of these two friends, stop talking about Jesus and instead talk to him. And let us follow their example, when Jesus gives clarity about an issue or reassurance of the truth, let us rush to share it with our friends.

Luke 24:13-21,28-35

Written for Community Bible Church’s weekly devotion.